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Education and Health for Carpet Knotting Families

CARE & FAIR & Corona-pandemic II


2020 was unusual for all of us. The corona virus has completely changed our lifestyle. We are now living an "unusually normal" life. Limitations in our lives have meant that we have to adapt in many ways. The CARE & FAIR schools and institutions had to face this time and change.

The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 has severely disrupted the daily lives of people around the world. To overcome this situation, countries around the world are taking extreme precautionary measures. Similarly, in India, the central and state governments have taken precautionary measures to control the ongoing pandemic and keep citizens safe.
The closure of schools and colleges was one of them. No social gatherings were allowed, and social and physical distancing became the norm.

CARE & FAIR India during the pandemic
Due to the pandemic, the daily work and the education, women's advancement and health programs of CARE & FAIR in India were also severely affected.

Grades 1 to 8
Since the state government ordered all educational institutions to close from March 17, 2020 before the complete closure from March 25, 2020, these classes are still not allowed to go to school. With the help of the teachers and legal guardians, the children and their families were continuously asked to use face masks, disinfectants and frequent hand washing and to keep the distance to be kept or the contact restrictions in their environment. Online courses were held in the villages. Some teachers tried to participate via WhatsApp but in the long run they could not use the online classes.

The main problems were:
1. Most children did not have access to a mobile phone (there is often one in the family but the father uses it during the day). Even those who had cell phone access had the problem that  the network was so bad it was nonsensical.

2. There are hardly any computers.

CARE & FAIR (India) chose an alternative method to reach the students. The teachers created worksheets for each class and subject. These were distributed to the students on certain days. The children picked them up, worked on them, brought them back to school, and took new worksheets back with them. Centers have also been set up in the villages to ensure that the children can be provided with other work materials such as pens or paper so that they can do their homework. Some of the teachers have offered outdoor lessons for the children in their area. This was gladly accepted.

Grades 9 to 12
These classes have been allowed to go to school again since October. CARE & FAIR John Lewis Girls High School began teaching the 9th and 10th grade (partially) from October 19, 2020, according to guidelines set by the state government. Since only 50 participants are allowed, the headmaster has taken the initiative to have science students attend class one day and humanities students the next. This way, they can solve the physical distance required. Students in grades 9 and 10 of the arts and science courses are allowed to attend school every other day. The girls sit at a sufficient distance from each other. They will receive tasks and notes and work towards the next day.
The school runs for 3 hours every day without a break. The girls are given notes and exercises that they have to study and complete at home on the other days.

Volker Heinrich Clinic
The clinic has been fully functional since August 25, and both doctors are on site from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patients must use the disinfectant, have their temperatures checked, wear masks, and maintain the prescribed distance before entering the clinic one at a time. The disinfectant and the masks are provided in the clinic. The safety instructions during this time are posted at the clinic so that everyone can see and implement them.

Encouraging teachers
The teachers received instruction on how to create worksheets. They were also given an introduction to basic computer skills to make it easier for them to create these worksheets.
In addition, records and registers are kept in every school in order to document which “school material” was covered.

Our employees in India ensure that our schools are regularly cleaned and refurbished. The schools were repainted and embellished. Any damage incurred has been repaired, for example:

- The CARE & FAIR John Lewis School got a new coat of paint and with the help of the students and staff the facade was beautified.
- The roof of the CARE & FAIR Barakat School was repaired.

During all activities of the teachers, the support staff and the office staff, a minimum distance and the wearing of a mask was and is observed. We can also report that none of the villages in which there is a CARE & FAIR project have been declared hotspots. Great care is taken to adhere to the safety guidelines so that people are and will remain safe and healthy in the future. The teachers, and especially the children, are missing out not only on formal education, but also on school activities. This is a shame and sad because these days, especially for the outgoing students, will never come back. Even the mandatory award ceremony, which takes place at the end of the current school year, could not be held.

Future planning
- It continues with worksheets for the children.
- If possible, we want to offer the children organized games and handicraft workshops so that they can slowly return to normal.
- If the measures are relaxed, the award ceremony should take place.
- The WEP programs will start again from December. This is a good time to see how successful the workshops have been for the teachers and how they are being implemented.
- Employees of the Katha School in Harijan Basti; Delhi will hold a teacher workshop for our teachers for one week in December. They will work with training staff to learn how to use modern technology and updated teaching methods. The project is funded by John Lewis from London, Great Britain.

We hope that we have been able to give you a small overview of the situation in our projects and the life of the “CARE & FAIR family” in India in times of COVID-19.
CARE & FAIR Europe and CARE & FAIR India support and help as best they can.

We would be very happy about ideas, experiences or support in any form.

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